Panel discussion on the rights of persons with disabilities in the context of climate change
Intervention by the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Madam President,

The Kingdom of the Netherlands is grateful for this opportunity for an in-depth discussion and thanks the panelists for their contributions.  It is only right to focus on the most vulnerable groups. With the SDG agenda, we have all pledged to leave no one behind.  

It is important to engage all people in working towards climate mitigation and adaptation. The Netherlands emphasizes the importance of an inclusive consultation process with communities when it comes to climate policy-making and disaster response planning. Civil society organizations are well placed to ensure that voices of the most vulnerable groups are represented and strengthened, including persons with disabilities, as well as women, youth and others. Therefore, the Netherlands is deeply concerned that environmental human rights defenders face high risks and violence.

Furthermore, the Netherlands stresses the need to gather data on the effects of climate change on human rights. This data is vital for fact-based communication, both nationally and internationally, and for effective policy design. Reliable data also stimulates public debate and meaningful engagement of civil society on the protection of human rights.

Finally, the Netherlands calls on the UN to continue to take into account the impact of climate change in all its work, including on human rights. We hope that UN Mandate holders and Special Procedures can play a positive role in this regard. This will not only contribute to achieving the climate goals of the Paris Agreement, but also to promoting and protecting human rights.

Mr. Sébastien Jodoin, what next steps could be taken by the UN and member states to solidify a human rights approach in addressing climate change?  

Thank you.